Tunisian President Kais Saied’s visit – the first since 2012 – comes a few days after the unity government was sworn in.
Tunisian President Kais Saied will visit Libya on Wednesday, his office said, days after Libya’s new national unity government was sworn in.
Saied’s office said the visit, the first of its kind since 2012, is aimed at supporting the democratic path in Libya, which aims to hold national elections in December in an effort to end its ten-year conflict.
The visit also aims to “strengthen cooperation between Tunisia and Libya” and develop “solidarity” for “increased stability and prosperity,” he added.
No details on Saied’s program were provided.
Tunisia hosted UN-backed talks between representatives of Libya’s warring factions late last year, which helped pave the way for the fragile advance.
Before Libya fell into chaos after the 2011 overthrow of longtime leader Muammar Gaddafi in a NATO-backed uprising, the oil-rich country was a major customer of Tunisian agricultural products and building materials. as well as migrant labor.
Long years of conflict have resulted in prolonged border closures which have affected the volume of business, especially in the informal trade in consumer goods which is an economic mainstay in border areas.
Successive Tunisian governments have struggled to publicly avoid taking sides between Libya’s rival administrations in the east and west that fought to a bloody standoff before giving way this week to the new government of unit recognized by the UN and headed by Prime Minister Abdelhamid Dbeibah.
The surprisingly smooth transfer of power is seen as an important step in ending the chaos in this oil-rich North African country.
Last year, the current Tunisian president accused the Islamist Ennahdha party, which forms the largest bloc in parliament, of being too close to the Tripoli administration recognized by the UN in its Turkish-backed battle against the strongman based in the east Khalifa Haftar.
The Turkish-backed Tripoli administration ultimately succeeded in defeating Haftar’s forces who aimed to capture territory in western Libya, including the capital. Reconciliation talks were launched after the failed bid by Haftar’s forces last year in April.